Area track and field athletes attempted to beat each other or beat their own top times and distances. All of them ended up beating the weather on Friday inside the Barnett Center.
Competing for the first time this spring, thinclads were just happy to be able to compete during the Class A and B portion of the Al Sahli Invitational.
“With the bad weather, I didn’t want that to effect my season,” said Ipswich eighth-grade standout Macy Heinz. “I started training early this year, so then I’d be ahead of where I was, because I didn’t want the snow to hold me back at all.”
Heinz looked like she was in late-season form, breaking the meet record in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:22.94. Despite the stellar time, Heinz was shooting for even better.
“I wanted to kind of start out 220,” Heinz said. “I want to improve a lot from last year, so I have still some work to do.”
Heinz is already 10 seconds ahead of her last year’s blistering pace, but she is highly motivated to get down to around 2:10 by the end of the spring.
“Each year my goal is to improve, no matter what,” Heinz said. “I just want to keep getting my time down. I want to get it down a lot more before the end of the season.”
Another athlete also appeared to be well ahead of schedule in her record-setting performance. Danielle Waldner of Redfield-Doland threw the shot put 40-feet 8-inches, to break a record that was held by her cousin, former Redfield great Aubrey Baxter.
“My cousin Aubrey held it, so then I just wanted to beat it,” Waldner said. “We called her right afterwards and told her.”
It was the first time that Waldner had won the Sahli meet and only whet her appetite for competing outdoors.
“Our track is pretty well covered with a lot of snow right now,” Waldner noted. “As soon as that melts, I’m pretty pumped to get outside and start throwing.”
Estelline distance ace Trevor Ward can relate. He won a pair of races on the day and is longing to get outside.
“Our track right now has probably got like two feet of snow on it,” Ward said. “We’ve got a while yet, so it was nice to be able to at least get this indoor meet done and out of the way.”
Ward, who easily won the 3,000-meter run, barely edged Ipswich seventh-grade Danzan Gilborne at the wire in the 800-meter run.
“That was real close,” Ward noted. “We were both leaning into it. It was a photo finish for sure. It was a good thing they had the cameras today.”
The only other double individual winner on the boys’ side was Kellemon Hinton of Ellendale, N.D., who won the long jump and triple jump.
“It is tougher to jump indoors in my opinion,” said Hinton, who was hoping for better distances in both of his events. “I should have jumped a couple feet more in both of my jumps.”
Hinton, who finished second at state in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump last season, said his triple jump win on Friday was more meaningful.
“I focus more on triple jump,” he said. “I spend a lot more time on it.”
The only double individual winner in the girls’ division was Courtney Bubach of Strasburg, N.D., who won the long jump and triple jump. She was also second in the 55-meter hurdles.